DescriptionWilliam Makepeace Thackeray. Autograph Letter Signed Laid-in to a First Edition of Vanity Fair. A Novel Without a Hero. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1848.
First edition in book form, first issue, with the headline on p.  in rustic type; the suppressed woodcut of the Marquis of Steyne on p. 336; "Mr. Pitt" for "Sir Pitt" on p. 453; and the ad for The Great Hoggarty Diamond (bound in at front). Octavo. xvi, 624 pages. Forty plates (including engraved title). In-text woodcut illustrations.
Contemporary crimson leather Riviere and Son binding with titles and vignettes stamped in gilt on the spine. Top edge gilt. Marbled endpapers. Spine slightly darkened, joints expertly repaired, small stain at the bottom of title page through page 6, else trivial toning to contents and in near fine condition.
Laid-in to this handsome copy is a fantastic two page Autograph Letter Signed "WM Thackeray" to Herman Merivale in which he declines an invitation to tea but attempts to apologize for "an...act of ingratitude" regarding a printer's error in one of Thackeray's articles. Apparently the word "unfurnished" was mistakenly used instead of "unfinished" in regards to Merivale's house and Thackeray assures Merivale that his house "is very handsomely furnished and secondly may I be torn to pieces by wild horses, and never asked to dinner again, if I write articles in disparagement of a house furnished with such a hospitable mahogany table as your's [sic] is and where such a kind host and hostess preside".
Grolier, 100 English, 87. Van Duzer 231.
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